The Queens Place Mall in Queens, New York, was evacuated Monday morning after a suspicious car parked in the shopping center’s garage prompted a bomb scare.
Police are searching for the individual who abandoned the vehicle at the mall with what turned out to be a fake bomb within, CBS New York reported.
Inside the vehicle, investigators discovered batteries, wire, duct tape, and an aerosol container constituting what they determined to be a hoax bomb, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
This is the hoax device that was found during the investigation in Queens earlier today. pic.twitter.com/IEUprCpdE4— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 4, 2021
“The Bomb Squad has determined that this is a hoax device, which means, in their judgment, it was set up to appear to be a device,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said, the WSJ reported.
Police first received a 911 report around 7:40 a.m. Monday about the suspicious vehicle and the NYPD Bomb Squad and Emergency Service Unit officers responded, according to CBS New York. Taking no chances, cops and firefighters arrived at the scene as evacuations took place.
“We have about 200 units in our building and so everyone was running out at the same time. It’s really scary after what happened in Nashville,” Minhaj Choudhury, who lived across the street from the mall, told CBS New York. (RELATED: Massive Explosion Rocks Nashville, Tennessee)
When the NYPD Bomb Squad arrived and looked into the vehicle, they found the “hoax device” with a paper ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign attached to it, the outlet reported. They also found a slightly-dehydrated Siberian husky within. The dog was taken to the ASPCA, according to CBS New York.
A Queens Place Mall said the mall remained shut Monday morning while cops and the Fire Department of New York conducted their investigation, the WSJ reported.
The NYPD gave the all-clear sometime after 10 a.m., and the road closures and evacuation orders were lifted, according to ABC7NY.